Driving School Refresher: How to Use a Roundabout
On my lunch break today I witnessed a van come to a complete, dead stop in the middle of a roundabout. I’m not talking a gentle slow down, this woman was treating it like it was a 4-way stop sign, only she was in the middle of the roundabout! I thought it might be nice for us all to have a refresher on them, especially with construction season kicking off!
Why do we even have roundabouts? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a stop sign?
According to the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation, roundabouts show an 89% decrease in fatal crashes, and a 39% decrease in crashes overall. Of course that is if they are used properly. Roundabouts also handle high levels of traffic much faster and more efficiently than other types of intersections.
What are the rules of the roundabout?
- When approaching the roundabout, slow down and make sure you are in the correct lane. Pay attention to road signs and arrows. The lanes are usually well marked.
- Always yield for pedestrians in the crosswalks. It is the law and the Minnesota Nice thing to do!
- Yield for vehicles that are already going through the roundabout, and enter the flow of traffic when it is safe.
- When in the roundabout it’s important to keep moving. Do not stop or pass while navigating it.
- If an emergency vehicle is also using the roundabout at the same time, exit and then pull over. Do not stop in the roundabout.
With Spring and Summer fast approaching it is important to keep your eyes out for pedestrians, construction areas and other distractions. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month! Drive safe and please don’t come to a dead stop in a roundabout!